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Rosetta Outcropping Changes Dirt Yard to Pool Oasis

Homeowner chooses Rosetta Outcropping to completely transform barren yard within budget.


When a West Islip, New York homeowner decided it was time to renovate his backyard in 2008, he wanted a big change.

The homeowner contacted Mike Minitulo, owner of Peter Michaels Landscape Associates, to create a design to maximize the backyard's usability and aesthetics. When Minitulo came onsite, the backyard pool area was surrounded by a flat field of completely level dirt with no grass, no landscaping, and certainly no aesthetic appeal.

Minitulo was faced with a challenge-creating a natural look for the project that was efficient and simple to install-all within the homeowner's budget. The design criteria consisted of a fire pit, seating area, lawn, landscape plantings, and an in-ground pool with waterfall and night lighting. Minitulo also had to take into consideration the next phase of construction, which included an outdoor kitchen.


Originally, the design plan specified natural moss rock to construct the double waterfall features that flow into the pool. However, natural stone is difficult to install because it requires sorting, cutting, and is hard to maneuver into place. When Minitulo first saw Rosetta at a landscape show, he knew he had found a solution that gave him the look he wanted, without the hassle of sorting, cutting, and installing natural stone.

"I presented Rosetta to the homeowner as an alternative to the moss rock. Even without seeing the product in person-they had only seen it in the brochure-they decided to go with it," Minitulo explained.

Rosetta is a revolutionary precast concrete retaining wall system that combines the look of natural stone, with the ease of installation and engineered benefits of a manufactured system. The Rosetta Outcropping system features 12 unique size units and 24 unique stone textures. Dimensions vary from 24 to 72-inches (610 to 1,829-millimeters) wide and from 6 to 24-inches (152 to 610-millimeters) tall. The dimensional consistency of the system makes designing with and installing Rosetta significantly easier and faster than with natural stone. Rosetta can also be used to create water features, fire pits, ponds, and seat walls in addition to retaining walls.

To create two cascading, poolside waterfalls, Minitulo's crews installed four courses of Rosetta Outcropping blocks, supplemented with small, natural stones. The waterfalls transition into a low seat wall that wraps around the edge of the pool and retains soil to accommodate landscape plantings.

This was Minitulo's first time designing and installing Rosetta. "Since all of the units fit together without cutting and sorting, the labor was far less than using natural stone," he explained. In total, the project required 16 pallets of Rosetta blocks, or approximately 288 square feet (27 square meters) of retaining walls.


Using Rosetta for both the waterfall and seat wall tied the area together, giving it a unified look throughout the backyard. Minitulo dramatically transformed the space with the help of Rosetta.

Minitulo said that the homeowner is very pleased with the outcome of this landscaping project. 


Design: Peter Michaels Landscape Associates, Inc. Block Manufacturer: Rosetta Walls Of New England Project Location: West Islip, NY Year: 2008 Project Size: 288 square feet (27 square meters) Case: 019 - New England Pool



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